CES: 'Magic' Gesture-Control Rings Let You Draw in Air to Play Music, Take Pictures, and More

( [email protected] ) Jan 06, 2015 12:19 PM EST
Gesture Control Ring at CES
Ring, a wearable controller that lets you draw in the air to play music, take a pictures and more, costs $270. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Gesture-recognition technology is certainly nothing new, and its applications are definitely for more than simply gaming on the Kinect.  Imagine a ring that you could put on your finger, and you would be able to do some amazing things like controlling lights, uploading photos, and even more.  If you think that such magical rings were something out of J.R.R. Tolkien's works, you would be wrong.  Two companies represented at CES, Nod and Logbar, have this technology readily available thanks to the power of Bluetooth and a lot of fancy tech. 

The Ring by Logbar is the one that you see in the illustration, and it is somewhat thick with a single button for greater controls.  Logbar's ring is all about drawing symbols in the air that can accomplish a range of commands to electronic devices.  For example, by drawing the "Power" symbol will turn on a television, and drawing a light bulb will turn on the lights.  I realize that this is somewhat hard to envision, so I recommend going to Logbar's website and seeing all of the Ring's features. 

Another Ring made an appearance at CES from a company simply called Nod.  This ring is slightly different as it sticks out one side, looking like one of those candy rings with the square tops.  This extended side allows for some variation on the gesture controls.  Unlike Logbar's Ring, which requires a lot of drawing in the air, the Nod Ring allows the user to have simpler movements thanks to a special sensor that can be easily accessed at the thumb. There is also some more buttons for more control.

The Nod Ring appears to be designed for the presenter, as its features resemble that of air mice.  That is, a user can manipulate the Ring in the air as if it is a mouse on a desktop.  This enables the user to swipe through photos and even type without ever touching a device.  You can find out more about what the Nod Ring can do on the company site

The two devices differ in specifications.  Logbar's Ring allows for continuous use for approximately 1 to 3 days and continuous standby time of approximately 18 days.  The Ring can charge on an electrical "finger" and takes about 3 hours for a complete charge.  As for Nod's Ring, there weren't many specifications on their site, but it will "go all day".  Nod's Ring can be charged with a box charger included.  

The prices also differ. The Logbar Ring is about $269.99 and is available on the Logbar site.  To this writing, the Logbar Ring is sold out.  Yes, Logbar's ring was a huge hit at CES Unveiled, a press event that occurs on Sunday before the big consumer electronics trade.  Nod's Ring is available for pre-order for $149, but unfortunately, at the time that I am writing this, their pre-order program is full.

I'm certain that these two rings will become available, as it appears there is customer demand.  It is very clear that both Logbar and Nod are trying to start a new trend with electronics, and I hope that it stays.  Gesture recognition is still technology that is quite young, and it has a lot of potential.